Only A Matter of Practice

Published: March 3rd 2015
Rating: PG
Pairing: Jack/Daniel
Word Count: 4,100

Thanks to Magnavox and Cimmie for being first and second beta on it. Guys, I appreciate your diligence and insights.

Summary: The things some people will do to get a treaty signed!


Daniel threw back the remnants of his third glass of wine and sighed. “It's not working. I still can’t kiss you, and to be honest, Jack, I don’t even remember why I have to.”

Jack was sprawled on one-half of his bed, several empty bottles of Bud on his side table attested to the fact that he’d been hitting the ‘Dutch courage’ too. He sat up and swung his legs off the bed.

“We need practice," he stated categorically, before he planted his feet firmly on the floor and rose none too steadily. “The ceremony is tomorrow night and you still flinch every time I touch you. I seem to recall someone having the idea that kissing might bring down the physical barriers because right now, Daniel, we ain't foolin' no one!"

Daniel wobbled to his feet and poured another glass of wine from the almost empty bottle on his side table. “But why do we have to do it in your bedroom?”

"Hmmm, can’t remember,” Jack admitted. “More comfortable? Maybe you should lie down?”

Daniel snorted, and took a slug of wine. "I can do without that sort of practice!"

"Daniel, this is serious," Jack lamented. "Tomorrow we need to turn up at the ceremony hand-in-hand, radiating happy, loving vibes or the Omnians will smell a rat, know we’ve lied to them, and that'll be the end of the treaty."

"I know, I'm sorry," Daniel chugged down the last of the wine and ran his hand through his already seriously messed up hair. "Why the hell do they have to be a single sex race anyway? God, did you see their faces when the set eyes on Sam?"

"Poor Sam,” Jack snickered.

"They looked at her like she was deformed!" Daniel was full on laughing as he sat down beside Jack.

"Did you find out how they reproduce?" Jack asked, trying to keep a straight face, and failing.

"No Jack, it's not the sort of thing you ask in polite conversation, and there was no mention of the mechanics in the literature they gave me. I guess it’s done in the lab."

Jack nodded sagely, then shook his head and snorted with laughter. "Well, I guess we'll find out once we get to know them all a bit better, which won't happen if we can't get them to sign that treaty, so I guess you and me are just going to have to pucker up..." as he spoke, Jack listed sideways, his face on a collision course with Daniel's.

In an attempt to avoid said collision, Daniel threw himself backwards on the bed, and Jack ended up sprawled diagonally across him, his face smooshed into Daniel's stomach. "Well, this is nice," he mumbled, not making any attempt to get up.

The vibration of Jack's voice tickled like hell, but also sent sparks of delicious sensation dancing over Daniel's abdomen. Panicking, he grabbed twin handfuls of silver hair and squirmed right out from under him.

Jack rubbed absently at the dull pain radiating from his scalp and flopped down beside Daniel on the bed. They lay like that, side by side staring up at the ceiling. Daniel wondered if now would be a good time to mention that it probably needed painting.

"I don't get it," Jack said finally, turning his head towards Daniel. "You're so uptight about this. When you volunteered for this assignment, I figured you of all people could pull it off. I'm more relaxed than you are and I'm scared shitless. I've never kissed..."

"Me either." Daniel interrupted testily.

He stared up at the peeling ceiling again. It was true, he’d never kissed another guy, but he'd thought about doing it quite a lot recently. The truth was that he didn’t want Jack to kiss him, not because he was repulsed by the idea, but because it appealed to him a little too much. It was freaking him out that he might have to do it for real, and not just in his rich fantasy life.

When he risked a quick glance at his friend, Jack had a strange look on his face.

"Oh? Oh! Well that's good. I mean..." Jack stammered in confusion. This was obviously not the response he'd expected from Daniel.

"Jack did you think that I was…?"

Jack flushed a lovely shade of red. "I have to admit, I did. Yes. Or at least that ya swung both ways."

"Jack!"

"You're an academic - it happens!" Jack wailed.

Well that explained a lot. People often made that assumption about Daniel, he was quite used to it, but he had expected more from Jack.

"That is a really sweeping statement!"

Jack propped himself up on his elbows. "Fine! You're straight. I'm straight. We're all straight, but by tomorrow evening, a whole planet full of gay guys needs to think we’re an item, or according to their quaint customs, both of us are up for grabs. I don’t know about you, Daniel, but I'd far rather pretend for one lousy night that I'm bumping uglies with ya than spend the evening fending off seven foot tall gay aliens that want to make me their bitch."

Daniel wanted to stay mad at Jack, but not only did he have a point, he made that point with perfect comic timing and Daniel couldn’t help but giggle. "Bumping uglies? Oh, dear God. So we’re really gonna try to pull this off?"

Jack cupped his hands behind his head, and released a long-held breath. "Not so sure now. When I thought you were, you know, gay, it didn’t seem like so much of a big deal. We're buddies, close pals. I thought it might be fun."

“There’s close and then there’s close, Jack,” he hedged.

Daniel couldn’t believe that Jack could think for one moment that this exquisitely painful torture could be fun. He’d admitted earlier that he was scared shitless, so the fun part was clearly a lie. Jack had a habit of using sarcasm and humor to mask feelings of fear and insecurity so perhaps Daniel should cut him some slack. After all, the predicament they were in was mostly Daniel’s fault.

Their first encounter with the Omnians had been in equal parts tense and hilarious. They distrusted Teal’c from the get go. This came as little surprise as just about every inhabited planet they visited had firsthand knowledge of the Goa’uld.

Their reaction to Sam, on seeing her take off her combat jacket in deference to the intense desert heat, had been a real eye opener. They really did think she was some sort of deformed mutant!

Daniel had quickly discovered why the welcoming party was so freaked. There were no females at all in their society and so Sam and Teal’c had been packed off back to base, and Daniel and Jack had gotten down to the business of getting the locals to trust them.

With trust had come curiosity, followed rapidly by blatant interest. They had both been very relieved to return through the gate for a while and escape the unwanted sexual advances with their virtue intact.

During their down time, studying some texts given to him by the Omnians, Daniel learned that once an Omnian couple entered into a formal partnership commitment, it was forbidden for single males to make any sort of sexual approach.

So when he’d volunteered for this return mission, he’d come up with the idea of telling their hosts he and Jack were engaged, which would allow them peace to just get on with studying the Omnian’s fascinating culture. He’d thought himself so clever at the time, thinking on his feet like that. Jack’s face, on learning that he was now Daniel’s fiancé had been priceless.

He was regretting it now though. The Omnians had been delighted to discover they had a recently bonded pair in their midst, and in the interests of furthering intercultural understanding, had insisted on hosting the marriage ceremony, after which they would sign the treaty as a wedding gift. Hammond had requested that they make it a very short engagement, as the planet’s medical advancements were way beyond anything the teams had yet encountered short of sarcophagus technology.

Daniel squeezed his eyes shut and tried not to react when the bed dipped as Jack shifted closer. “Look, when it comes right down to it, Daniel, as nervous as I am about this, I do think it’s the only way we’re going to get comfortable enough with each other to appear intimate. Can we just get it over with? I’m starting to sober up!”

"Nope!" Daniel bolted upright, which caused the top of his head to impact with Jack's chin.

The Colonel howled and rubbed gingerly at the sore spot, fixing his friend with an angry glare. Daniel was standing at the foot of the bed, his chest heaving with panic.

Jack frowned and sat up. "We have to do it sometime," he reasoned.

"No. No we don't."

Daniel didn’t understand why Jack felt it was so necessary. Most of the couples he knew were not big on public displays of affection. Kissing was not something he’d expected to have to do in front of the Omnians, so why the hell did they have to practice it?

Jack answered the question before he could even put it into words. "You saw how they were? They're a very – demonstrative people. If we can get comfortable with kissing, then all the other stuff should be a piece of cake. Relax. Trust me."

"What other stuff?" Daniel asked suspiciously.

“I dunno, casual touches, holding hands, staring lovingly at each other over a root beer float down at the diner… whatever you youngsters do on dates these days!” Jack reached out and pulled Daniel to sit on the bed next to him. He kept a firm hand wrapped around his friend's wrist, although they both knew that if Daniel decided to bolt again, he wouldn’t try to stop him. "Hey - if I can do this, I'm dammed sure you can, space monkey!"

"No - please, I mean it Jack. I can't do this - I'm sorry."

Using pet names was totally unfair, but Daniel had to stay strong. If he kissed Jack now, even in jest, the cat would be out of the bag. How could he possibly pretend it meant nothing?

"It's just a kiss for cryin' out loud,” Jack grouched. “It’s not like I'm asking you to pick out curtains!"

"I can't kiss you."

"I’m that repulsive, huh?"

Daniel risked a sideway glance at Jack. He almost sounded hurt. But Daniel couldn't afford to let his resolve crumble now. "This is just a game to you Jack - a bit of fun. Something else you can tease me about over the next couple of weeks. Something you can embarrass the shit out of me about!"

"Well of course it's just a game Daniel!" Jack said, as he banged his head on the headboard in frustration. “We already established we’re both straight. What else can we get out of it but some tall tales to tell the troops? Remember that mission where we had to get married in order to get a treaty signed? That was a hoot wasn’t it? The wedding night was a bit awkward but we muddled though… it’s all just a bit of fun, Daniel.”

"No Jack, it really isn't - not for me anyway. The act of marriage should never be taken lightly, even if it’s not our culture."

“Damn it Daniel, why do you have to over think everything?” Jack sighed and tried to push upright, but Daniel reached out and stopped him. Taking a deep breath, he very slowly lay back down on the bed.

When push came to shove, they were still the best chance the program had of getting a treaty from the Omnians, and Jack was right, drastic measures were needed if they were going to pass themselves off as a loving couple long enough to get the treaty. Daniel was afraid that the next few moments were going to herald the beginning of the end of their friendship, but there was nothing else for it. “God, I don’t believe I’m doing this.”

Jack’s eyebrows shot up. "You’ll kiss me?"

Closing his eyes he said, "Yes, just, get on with it!” He felt the bed dip again as Jack moved closer.

"No tongues - I promise."

"JACK!!!"

Jack rolled onto his side and grabbed two handfuls of broad shoulder. "Okay, okay I admit - I'm nervous. Take a deep breath and close your eyes."

Daniel’s eyes, which had already been screwed tightly shut, immediately shot wide open. "Why?"

"It might help if you imagine someone else kissing you?"

"Oh no - I don't trust you. I want to see what you're doing." Daniel reached over and switched on the bedside lamp to facilitate the seeing.

"Exactly what the hell do you think I'm gonna do?" Jack asked exasperation clear in his tone.

"I don't know Jack,” Daniel countered, “that's why I'm not closing my eyes."

"Well do you mind if I do?"

Daniel tried not to back away as Jack’s face hovered alarming close to his. He should have known that Jack wouldn't let this lie. He had never really stood a chance tonight. This is the way it had to go down! Admitting that made him feel a little better, but not much. Because the shit was about to hit the fan in no uncertain terms! He sighed and went limp.

“If you have your eyes closed, how are you going to find the target?"

"Let me worry about that." Jack moved closer as he spoke; eyes fixed on Daniel’s lips.

"Oh, right - fine. Well then... so you're just gonna...?"

"Jeez - let me know when you're finished talking won't ya?" Jack placed his palm on Daniel’s face.

"Okay sorry, little nervous here. I'm finished."

"Sure?" A rough, calloused thumb traced Daniel’s bottom lip and for a moment, his heart skipped a beat.

Jack’s tongue snaked out to moisten his dry lips.

Daniel's eyes widened.

His heart began to make up for its earlier missed beat by doubling its pace.

"I... Jack I can't!" he whispered.

"DANIEL! Close your God damned eyes,” Jack ordered.

"No?" He whimpered.

"Okay, fine, watch if you have to, but shut the fuck up! This is difficult enough as it is!" And then there was no more space left between them.

"Jaaammmmmphf!"

Ka-boom!

In the blink of an eye, everything changed.

The lips on his were firm and strong; the hands on his shoulder and face, gentle but insistent and his heart… his heart was in pieces on the floor.

Jack's lips glided slowly across his own and he couldn't help it, he arched towards the warmth of the body lying so close to his own and groaned.

Jack gasped in surprise and that was all the invitation Daniel needed to slip his tongue inside Jack’s mouth. His fingers ghosted into the silver hair and held the shocked Colonel gently in place while he deepened the kiss. And it was impossible to hold back. He’d been suppressing the longing and the want for so long that it all came crashing to the surface. He broadcast it with every stuttering breath, quivering muscle and pounding heartbeat.

When they pulled apart, they were both breathing harshly. Jack's eyes were like saucers. "Oh, my God!"

Daniel winced. "I'm sorry. Oh, God... I begged you not to Jack!"

"I didn't know!" Jack whispered, and wasn’t that the whole point?

He was never meant to know. If Daniel had just managed to keep his feelings about Jack in the realms of fantasy, then they could have gone on being friends and now it was all fucked up and Jack would hate him and probably punch him in the face.

"Okay - okay it’s fine! I'm fine. No problem here.” Jack cleared his throat when his voice came out as a croak. “This is er... this is good! We can use this."

"What?"

This was absolutely not the response Daniel had expected. Jack wasn’t punching him, wasn’t yelling at him, and in fact didn’t seem angry at all. He was actually being… reasonable.

"I mean, we have to act as if were attracted to each other right?” Jack continued, reasonably. “Well, we're half way there already!"

"You mean half of us are all the way there don't you?" Daniel’s face burned with embarrassment.

"Um...!" Jack seemed to be finding the geometric design on the quilt fascinating. "Danny...?"

Ah, here it comes, the talk - I think you’re a great guy but I just don’t think of you in those terms - Daniel already knew that! He didn’t need to hear it from Jack’s lips.

"Jack, stop! Please. At least you know now why I was so reluctant to… oooohf!"

Suddenly Daniel found himself pinned to the mattress by a rather aroused Air Force Colonel. A second later, and the Colonel was closing the gap between them for tonsil hockey, round two. Daniel squirmed for a few seconds before realising that wasn't the wisest of tactical decisions and lay still until Jack's lips released him.

"What the hell are you doing?" he hissed.

"I’m kissing you again." It was stating the obvious, but then Daniel had made the mistake of asking ‘what’ when maybe he should have been asking ‘why’.” He scowled at Jack until the other man sighed and pushed up onto his elbow to give them both a little more breathing room.

"Jack...?"

"Look Daniel, I liked it okay?

Wait, what? Did Jack just say he had enjoyed the kissing or had Daniel sustained a concussion at some point during the evening?

"You... I..."

"You and I... yeah?"

Daniel managed to wiggle out from under Jack. There was obviously some sort of misunderstanding going on here. Jack was supposed to be mad right now. Clearly, he didn’t understand the implications of what had happened. "Let me make this simpler for you Jack - I'm very attracted to you - in a sexual context! I want your ass, Jack."

"Whoa, Danny! TMI! I'm still getting used to the fact that I get a boner when I kiss you."

"You - What?" Daniel wished he hadn’t finished all the wine, because he sure could use a drink right about now.

"A boner, a hard-on, an erec..."

"Yes, I know what a boner is, thank you. I am a linguist after all." Daniel rolled onto his side to get a better look at Jack’s face. Maybe this was Jack’s idea of a joke. He’d know for sure if he could get a good look at his eyes. The eyes never lie…

"See?" Jack grabbed Daniel's hand and placed it on the object of discussion. "Oh, that feels nice..." he said breathlessly.

Daniel hastily withdrew his hand, which had mistakenly got the impression it was supposed to be caressing the object of discussion. "Jack, I want you to get up now."

"Already there, Danny."

"No, I mean from the bed. God, Jack what’s gotten into you?"

The moment the words left his mouth, Daniel knew Jack wouldn’t be able to resist turning them into a lewd comment, so he hastily clamped his hand over Jack’s mouth. Maybe it was Jack that had sustained the concussion. Or could it be some sort of drug? He had to get Jack to the mountain, where Janet could run a full spectrum blood work-up.

Something hot and wet touched his palm and he jerked his hand away, realising that Jack was licking it.

"Jack get... mmmphhhf!"

And again with the kissing, and the groaning, and the grinding.

Daniel felt his resolve crumbling. With one superhuman effort, he shoved Jack off and scrambled to his feet. “Jack, have you consumed anything in the last few hours that could have been contaminated with a foreign substance?”

Jack grinned like an idiot. “You think I’m high? Okay, I can see why you might think that so I guess it’s probably time to come clean.” Jack held out a hand and when Daniel tentatively took it, Jack tugged him back down to sit on the bed. “I um, I may not be as straight as I led you to believe,” Jack admitted.

“And you’re just figuring this out now?” Daniel replied sceptically.

Jack chewed on his lip for a moment before answering. “Well, no. I’ve known I was interested in both guys and girls since I was about 15. I’ve only recently figured out that I am very interested in you. ”

Daniel chose to ignore the last part of that statement. For now. He was remembering, with some degree of irritation, their earlier conversation. “So when you said you’d never kissed a guy before - that was a lie?”

“No, that was an interrupted sentence. I was going to say that I had never kissed an archaeologist before.”

“Oh!” There wasn’t a great deal Daniel could say to that.

“However, in the interests of full disclosure, I should probably tell you that when it comes to the ‘guys’ part, I haven’t really done anything about that. Just window shopped to be honest. It was never worth the risk.”

“What changed?” Daniel had to know.

“Honestly, Daniel, I volunteered for this mission just so I could finally get to see what it was like to kiss a guy with absolutely no repercussions. Remembering that I assumed you were gay and would have no problems with it, I really did think it might be fun, and a safe way for me to experiment with that aspect of my sexuality. I didn’t expect it to be that intense.”

And it had been intense. Daniel had never been kissed like that. If he’d been standing at the time, it would have taken the legs out from under him. The memory of it still lingered in the faint tingling of his lips.

He had to know if it was just a fluke though. He leaned in, gently touching their mouths together for a moment before the sound of Jack’s indrawn breath ignited something in the pit of his stomach and he reached for Jack, pulling him closer, deepening the kiss until his ears began to ring from lack of oxygen and he pulled back, panting.

Jack was bisexual.

Jack was interested in Daniel.

Jack had an erection.

Daniel had a whole lot of questions, but as it happened, he also had an erection.

“Just to recap,” Jack said softly, “bit of a novice when it comes to gay sex.”

Daniel smiled “Well, we were novices to gay kissing a moment ago and look at us now. It’s only a matter of practice.”

<<000>>>

Two Days Later

They stepped back through the gate to uproarious applause. The Gate room was full of cheering airmen and base technical staff. An honour guard formed a canopy of crossed rifles over their heads. Walter Harriman and Dave Siler threw rice. There were catcalls and wolf whistles and someone was singing ‘here comes the bride’ at the top of their lungs. Daniel was a bit alarmed but a sideways glance told him that Jack had expected no less.

“C’mon Daniel, you must have guessed the guys would do something like this when word got out about our impromptu ‘nuptials’.”

Entering into the spirit of the joke, Jack tucked Daniel’s hand under his arm and they walked down the ramp until they came to a stop before a smiling General Hammond and the other half of the SGC’s flagship team.

“Congratulations, Colonel. You make a lovely couple,” Sam said, trying to hide her smile behind her hand.

“Thank you,” Jack replied. “Your telegram was very touching. Made Daniel cry.”

“I assume you have something for me?” interrupted the General, cutting through the banter to get to the heart of the matter.

Jack reached into his pocket and withdrew the treaty document. “Signed, sealed, and delivered, Sir,” he handed it over with a flourish.

“Well done, son. You deserve some down time.”

Jack was picking rice out of Daniel’s hair. “Thank you, Sir. I believe there is the little matter of a honeymoon. “

To Daniel’s utter shock, George Hammond winked, leaned in close and with poker face said, “Call it what you want, boys, just make sure you report back for duty in one week.”

“Aye sir,” Jack saluted sloppily.” Then to the delight of the assembled throng, he scooped a loudly protesting Daniel up into his arms and carried him out of the Gate room.

The end

 

 

Notes:

This was a major re-write of an existing fic. Originally, it was about a totally straight Jack and Daniel falling in love. I have nothing against the old trope - both of us are straight but we fell in love with each other so pucker up and pass me the Astroglide. It can be made to work but it usually takes a very long, very wordy and very angsty sort of fic.

This was none of those. It was clearly meant to be short, concise and funny. It was basically a whole bunch of back and forth dialogue and no meat. When I re-read it, it didn’t work for me, and I didn’t buy it. I therefore felt the need to rewrite it rather extensively. I filled in all the bits between each lonely line of dialogue, fixed the shifting POV and tried to ramp up the humour AND the angst, something I think the show itself did very well. Don’t know how successful it was, but I know it’s better now than before. So there’s that

 

 

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